War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0475 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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how I can meet such a force, and they can land where they please. If they get possession of the country west of this place (through which the railroads pass), as well as the waters on the other three sides, any escape from here is very doubtful.

It would not do now to give up any part of the position,as they would at once occupy it. I cannot begin to move the public property. The guns scattered at the different batteries could not be removed with our means in weeks, and where to move them to? The ammunition could be destroyed when not wanted. As to the valuable establishment, the navy-yard, which has more public property that the rest of the country, it is not under my control, and others must determine concerning it. Very little can be removed from there.

I do not see what preparation I can make, if any, for the contingency but to repel every attack as promptly as possible and defend the position as long as I can.

When they have the waters on both sides of me, you can calculate how long I can hold out as well as I can.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,&c.,



HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., April 29, 1862.

Colonel J. GORGAS,

Chief of Ordnance Bureau, Richmond, Va.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to state that General Johnston has informed me that he does not want any more heavy guns nor ammunition for them sent to Yorktown for the present.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,


HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING OF ARMY, Lee's Farm, April 29, 1862.


Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have learned that complaints have been made to you of the treatment of the slaves employed in this army.

It is quite true that much hardship has been endured by the negroes in the recent prosecution of the defensive works on our lines; but this has been unavoidable, owing to the constant and long-continued wet weather. Every precaution has been adopted to secure their health and safety as far as circumstances would allow. The soldiers, however, have been more exposed and have suffered far more than the slaves. The latter have always slept under cover and have had fires to make them comfortable, whilst the men have been working in the rain, have stood in the trenches and rifle pits in mud and water almost knee-deep, without shelter, fire, or sufficient food. There has been sickness among the soldiers and the slaves, but far more among the former than the latter.

I write this for your information, supposing that you might not know the facts.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding Right Wing, Army of Virginia.